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RAA "creates" 10.000 pilots in 10 years

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IF I stood in front of a crowd of aviators and declared that aviation was thriving, I would no doubt get shouted down. It’s a ludicrous statement, right? If I instead announced that aviation was dying, I would probably get a much better reception. That’s how Trump got elected. It’s controversial, eye raising and attention-grabbing stuff. We are wired to pay attention to things which might adversely affect us, so we stand and take notice of these types of comments. RAAus grew by eight per cent over the past year. RAAus has been getting safer over the past five years. RAAus has created more than 10,000 aviators in the past 10 years. These are all very impressive numbers if you ask me. Not exactly riveting material and certainly not the sort of thing that creates headlines. It is just the plain and simple truth. But despite this good news, we seem to be obsessed with the falsehood that we are dying. We’re convinced someone is killing us and that someone is CASA.

 

We’re told GA in the US is thriving because of its different regulatory environment. None of that is true. We tend to give it more emphasis due to our natural tendency to try and protect ourselves. Let’s start with the US and get the real picture. In Australia, most general aviation is conducted by piston powered aircraft. Sure, we have turbo props and so forth, but these are fairly small in comparison to the rest of the fleet. Of course, this changes when you consider commercial ops, but the share for GA is fairly small. The number of aircraft in the US which fall into this category peaked in 1984 at 197,442, according to AOPA. Its data, which is freely available on its website, then shows a steady decline from that year on. The latest published figures show the total number of piston aircraft at 155,180. That’s a decline of 21 per cent. In absolute terms, the fall in numbers is more than 42,000 aircraft. To put that into context, at the time of writing this there were 15,518 aircraft on the CASA register and a further 3,500 on the RAAus register. So the US market shrunk by more than twice the size of the entire Australian fleet. If we shrunk by that much we would have minus 23,000 planes in Australia! If we were to base our arguments on this, we would conclude that the US market is struggling not thriving. And it doesn’t end there. In 1984, the same year piston powered aircraft numbers reached their peak, the ‘Experimental’ and ‘Other’ categories totalled only 6,275 aircraft. Now it sits at 37,610 aircraft and I am sure this will continue to grow. So, adding the two categories together, the US has actually seen a small decline of around 5,000 aircraft over the period.

 

That’s hardly thriving, but I don’t want to be a fear monger and suggest it is dying either! What this says to me is that the landscape is changing. ‘Experimental’ and ‘Other’ includes LSA aircraft, home built and so on. ‘Other’, on its own, is a category growing strongly. It has doubled in the period for which AOPA publishes data. While it isn’t as pronounced as the transition from the horse and cart to the motor car, it is certainly a transformation which is impossible to deny. So why do we believe the rumours about the US thriving and Australian aviation dying? Because we are only hearing one side of the story. Why? I honestly don’t know. The important thing though, is that if we all run around telling people that aviation is a dinosaur and that the comet is about to hit, it is a sure-fire way to turn aviation into a dinosaur and cause the sky to fall in. It is not in the interests of aviation at all and nor is the mentality we seem to employ to promote ourselves. I often hear arguments that we need to unite as an industry.

 

Indeed, I made the very same argument some years ago, which is how AirVenture came to be. We do need to unite. The problem I also see is the way we conduct ourselves is very different to what we say and we forget the old adage that our actions speak louder than our words. In my view we should have a fly-in somewhere in Australia every single weekend. An aviation event should be going on and we should participate in it. It doesn’t matter whether it is a large or small gathering, an Avalon or a Wings Over Illawarra style event, as long as it happens. What also matters is that we support each other and not try to win at all costs, to the detriment of others in our industry. It’s the reason I worked with fellow aviators to start AirVenture and the same reason we relinquished control of it. The structure of AirVenture is such that no single entity can control it. It is a legal entity in its own right and has multiple beneficiaries, of which RAAus is only one. In other words, we have a strong interest in seeing it succeed, but we do not control it. It is, by design, an event for aviators by aviators. If it doesn’t succeed then you, as an aviator, lose. All aviators lose. Despite us stepping back from having an RAAus centric event and putting aviation as a whole before our own organisation, some people seem determined to undermine it. This is what is causing aviation grief in Australia. It has nothing to do with people moving on from the proverbial horse and cart and into something new. If it did, we’re all going to be shocked when personal aerial vehicles such as those being developed by Lilium, Kitty Hawk, Volocopter, SureFly, etc. become mainstream. Because there’s going to be another shift. We need to stop pointing fingers and focus on real issues. If we don’t get to the root cause of our problems and start to understand that the industry has to accept a role in its own destiny, then we truly are doomed.

 

Crying foul at the regulator and blaming it for all our problems is like a kid jumping up and down crying ‘it isn’t fair’. The kid is right in that regulation does cost us money and life is not fair, but that is only half the story. GA businesses recently revealed that aviation agencies, of which CASA is just one, account for just four per cent of their operational expenses. There are clearly other things going on and the current approach won’t succeed at fixing them if we ignore them. It’s a not a smart strategy. A steady handed approach, with some rational thinking and argument, is the way to make progress. Understanding the real issues is also key.

 

We have seen many airports closing over the past decade.

 

It’s creating access problems, cost pressures and other difficulties which are, in my mind, more significant than the four per cent cost of regulation. Yet no one is doing much about that issue. There are also other significant challenges ahead and no one is paying attention. Things need to change.

 

Next time you’re in a forum, at the local club or just chatting with other aviators and something controversial is said about our passion, ask that person what their view is based on. What is their background? Why are they qualified to make that statement?

 

Where is the evidence?

 

Is it just a rumour which is distracting us from the real issues or is it really something worth worrying about?

 

If it is the former and it damages things like AirVenture, then question it and push back.

 

After all, if we don’t stand up for an event for aviators, by aviators, then who will? And if you stand by and let someone destroy aviation, then we will all be dinosaurs, waiting for the comet to hit.

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And what is your real name so we can spot it on the RAAus election papers when they are sent out?

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Regulation, or Over-regulation,

 

"Crying foul at the regulator and blaming it for all our problems is like a kid jumping up and down crying ‘it isn’t fair’."

 

When I SEE a good model of aircraft Tossed into a trailer to go to the Tip (recycling-dump) And a dozen more Not to be finished just because Raa And Casa ARE going to be firm on lax regs, when the same aircraft Are flying with their "Grandfather clause.

 

Gives me a bad feeling of losing the "ULTRLIGHT AVIATION"  part, from the new "Get all private single engine aircraft onto the Raa register.

 

Great for the ppl flyers but not for the low-powered, made in the shed flyers,

 

that just want to fly circuits in their "I made it my-self" plane.

 

STILL CRYING FOUL.

 

spacesailor

 

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And what is your real name so we can spot it on the RAAus election papers when they are sent out?

 

 

 

Why worry? I've got no ambition to involve myself in the running of the RAA, after all it seems to be going better than ever. If the RAA team can maintain an 8 percent growth rate that means the RAA will have 20.000 members in less than 8 years. 

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Why worry? I've got no ambition to involve myself in the running of the RAA, after all it seems to be going better than ever. If the RAA team can maintain an 8 percent growth rate that means the RAA will have 20.000 members in less than 8 years. 

 

where is that pi$$ing myself laughing icon when I need it?

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I didn't know Paul Poberezny was still alive and hiding in Australia.  Whoever wrote the first post reckons they helped establish AirVenture.  Wonder if they let ol'Jack know they've "Borrowed" the name.  It's an insult to the EAA otherwise.  Cheers

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this is from this month's Sport Pilot written by Michael Monck, he's referring to the Australian fly in with the same name. I'm just putting it up here for the benefit of those that don't like reading the magazine as a PDF

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Replying to the title, claiming 10,000 pilots in 10 years is only relevant to the number that have left during that period, and the demographic breakdown of the 10,000.

 

As respectfully as I can put it, every show I go to or look at pictures of, every meeting (RAA, CASA etc) and Fly'In report I see, shows a large sea of grey hair.

 

I would like to see a demographic breakdown of the inducted 10,000 for relevance, especially age breakdown to make determinations of the sport's future strength.

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Replying to the title, claiming 10,000 pilots in 10 years is only relevant to the number that have left during that period, and the demographic breakdown of the 10,000.

 

As respectfully as I can put it, every show I go to or look at pictures of, every meeting (RAA, CASA etc) and Fly'In report I see, shows a large sea of grey hair.

 

I would like to see a demographic breakdown of the inducted 10,000 for relevance, especially age breakdown to make determinations of the sport's future strength.

 

Especially the "instructor's" age demographic. 

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IF I stood in front of a crowd of aviators and declared that aviation was thriving, I would no doubt get shouted down. It’s a ludicrous statement, right? If I instead announced that aviation was dying, I would probably get a much better reception. That’s how Trump got elected. It’s controversial, eye raising and attention-grabbing stuff. We are wired to pay attention to things which might adversely affect us, so we stand and take notice of these types of comments. RAAus grew by eight per cent over the past year. RAAus has been getting safer over the past five years. RAAus has created more than 10,000 aviators in the past 10 years. These are all very impressive numbers if you ask me. Not exactly riveting material and certainly not the sort of thing that creates headlines. It is just the plain and simple truth. But despite this good news, we seem to be obsessed with the falsehood that we are dying. We’re convinced someone is killing us and that someone is CASA.

 

We’re told GA in the US is thriving because of its different regulatory environment. None of that is true. We tend to give it more emphasis due to our natural tendency to try and protect ourselves. Let’s start with the US and get the real picture. In Australia, most general aviation is conducted by piston powered aircraft. Sure, we have turbo props and so forth, but these are fairly small in comparison to the rest of the fleet. Of course, this changes when you consider commercial ops, but the share for GA is fairly small. The number of aircraft in the US which fall into this category peaked in 1984 at 197,442, according to AOPA. Its data, which is freely available on its website, then shows a steady decline from that year on. The latest published figures show the total number of piston aircraft at 155,180. That’s a decline of 21 per cent. In absolute terms, the fall in numbers is more than 42,000 aircraft. To put that into context, at the time of writing this there were 15,518 aircraft on the CASA register and a further 3,500 on the RAAus register. So the US market shrunk by more than twice the size of the entire Australian fleet. If we shrunk by that much we would have minus 23,000 planes in Australia! If we were to base our arguments on this, we would conclude that the US market is struggling not thriving. And it doesn’t end there. In 1984, the same year piston powered aircraft numbers reached their peak, the ‘Experimental’ and ‘Other’ categories totalled only 6,275 aircraft. Now it sits at 37,610 aircraft and I am sure this will continue to grow. So, adding the two categories together, the US has actually seen a small decline of around 5,000 aircraft over the period.

 

That’s hardly thriving, but I don’t want to be a fear monger and suggest it is dying either! What this says to me is that the landscape is changing. ‘Experimental’ and ‘Other’ includes LSA aircraft, home built and so on. ‘Other’, on its own, is a category growing strongly. It has doubled in the period for which AOPA publishes data. While it isn’t as pronounced as the transition from the horse and cart to the motor car, it is certainly a transformation which is impossible to deny. So why do we believe the rumours about the US thriving and Australian aviation dying? Because we are only hearing one side of the story. Why? I honestly don’t know. The important thing though, is that if we all run around telling people that aviation is a dinosaur and that the comet is about to hit, it is a sure-fire way to turn aviation into a dinosaur and cause the sky to fall in. It is not in the interests of aviation at all and nor is the mentality we seem to employ to promote ourselves. I often hear arguments that we need to unite as an industry.

 

Indeed, I made the very same argument some years ago, which is how AirVenture came to be. We do need to unite. The problem I also see is the way we conduct ourselves is very different to what we say and we forget the old adage that our actions speak louder than our words. In my view we should have a fly-in somewhere in Australia every single weekend. An aviation event should be going on and we should participate in it. It doesn’t matter whether it is a large or small gathering, an Avalon or a Wings Over Illawarra style event, as long as it happens. What also matters is that we support each other and not try to win at all costs, to the detriment of others in our industry. It’s the reason I worked with fellow aviators to start AirVenture and the same reason we relinquished control of it. The structure of AirVenture is such that no single entity can control it. It is a legal entity in its own right and has multiple beneficiaries, of which RAAus is only one. In other words, we have a strong interest in seeing it succeed, but we do not control it. It is, by design, an event for aviators by aviators. If it doesn’t succeed then you, as an aviator, lose. All aviators lose. Despite us stepping back from having an RAAus centric event and putting aviation as a whole before our own organisation, some people seem determined to undermine it. This is what is causing aviation grief in Australia. It has nothing to do with people moving on from the proverbial horse and cart and into something new. If it did, we’re all going to be shocked when personal aerial vehicles such as those being developed by Lilium, Kitty Hawk, Volocopter, SureFly, etc. become mainstream. Because there’s going to be another shift. We need to stop pointing fingers and focus on real issues. If we don’t get to the root cause of our problems and start to understand that the industry has to accept a role in its own destiny, then we truly are doomed.

 

Crying foul at the regulator and blaming it for all our problems is like a kid jumping up and down crying ‘it isn’t fair’. The kid is right in that regulation does cost us money and life is not fair, but that is only half the story. GA businesses recently revealed that aviation agencies, of which CASA is just one, account for just four per cent of their operational expenses. There are clearly other things going on and the current approach won’t succeed at fixing them if we ignore them. It’s a not a smart strategy. A steady handed approach, with some rational thinking and argument, is the way to make progress. Understanding the real issues is also key.

 

We have seen many airports closing over the past decade.

 

It’s creating access problems, cost pressures and other difficulties which are, in my mind, more significant than the four per cent cost of regulation. Yet no one is doing much about that issue. There are also other significant challenges ahead and no one is paying attention. Things need to change.

 

Next time you’re in a forum, at the local club or just chatting with other aviators and something controversial is said about our passion, ask that person what their view is based on. What is their background? Why are they qualified to make that statement?

 

Where is the evidence?

 

Is it just a rumour which is distracting us from the real issues or is it really something worth worrying about?

 

If it is the former and it damages things like AirVenture, then question it and push back.

 

After all, if we don’t stand up for an event for aviators, by aviators, then who will? And if you stand by and let someone destroy aviation, then we will all be dinosaurs, waiting for the comet to hit.

 

Is this something you've written FT, or just some unsourced information you've cut and pasted?

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this is from this month's Sport Pilot written by Michael Monck, he's referring to the Australian fly in with the same name. I'm just putting it up here for the benefit of those that don't like reading the magazine as a PDF

 

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One has to wonder how many more people might be flying if they weren't making it as hard as they do.

 

Essentially that's 10 000 pilots that have managed to fly in spite of their efforts.

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Fl;y Tornado.

 

Why do you post sudh stuff as you started this forum with?

 

If you posted that it was a quote from someone else, it may make sense, but as you post it under your own name, it appears to be what you are saying.

 

Having seen you do this in the past I immediately knew it was the ramblings of someone else. I should have realised  that it was monkey Michael, with the rose tinted glasses firmly in place.

 

Please to get credence state at the start that you are quoting someone else, that way I may even be able to agree with you.

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I just thought everyone would instantly know its not my dysfunctional ranting and appreciate it for what its worth

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Replying to the title, claiming 10,000 pilots in 10 years is only relevant to the number that have left during that period, and the demographic breakdown of the 10,000.

 

As respectfully as I can put it, every show I go to or look at pictures of, every meeting (RAA, CASA etc) and Fly'In report I see, shows a large sea of grey hair.

 

I would like to see a demographic breakdown of the inducted 10,000 for relevance, especially age breakdown to make determinations of the sport's future strength.

 

A bit like the LNP claims about new jobs created.  Full-time, part-time, casual, zero-hour, low price contract or student or 471 visa holder. Offset by sackings, closures, redundancies.  I suspect that there are lots of people working unpaid overtime with new jobs being largely part-time or casual you might find that total work hours have fallen.

 

Numbers of flying people will always go up and down.  With wages levels pegged below inflation there is little incentive for people to go flying.  The numbers issue is more to do with government policies rather than RAA behaviours.

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I just thought everyone would instantly know its not my dysfunctional ranting and appreciate it for what its worth

 

It didn't show your usual acerbic wit  ;0)

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I just thought everyone would instantly know its not my dysfunctional ranting and appreciate it for what its worth

 

It’ pretty much your standard of logic but the syntax wasn’t quite right, which is why I ask.

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I do find his columns interesting. Its a shame he's not really interested in complex discussions about the RAA

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It didn't show your usual acerbic wit  ;0)

 

 

 

.. or half of it anyway.

 

A bit like the LNP claims about new jobs created. 

 

 

 

They all do it, and has been a worldwide trend as far as I can see started by the Hawke Government when they started the "Clever Country" and all the training schemes. Not a first to be proud of.

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It would be great if this reported growth was translating to extra activity, the reality I see is many regional clubs in decline, airport access getting worse by the day, and costs continue to escalate. Many avenues for affordable flying are already gone and unlikely to ever return. Who and where the increasing RAA flight hours are being flown I would like to know. You don't need a breakdown of demographics to figure out age groups if you are involved in the grass roots of "club life" (or whats left of it). I don't believe we are a group of people trying to character assassinate ourselves with words of doom but like many I am at a loss to see how we can invigorate interest in flight when we are competing with so many other less complicated and less expensive forms of entertainment. If you are part  of a thriving and prospering aviation community please share your strategies with this group.  

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I think a lot of the clubs are being swallowed or merged into flying schools. The biggest fear of most pilots is being grounded for some minor infringement of the rules, it doesn't help when the regulators have vague or contradictory interpretations of the rules.

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It would be great if this reported growth was translating to extra activity, the reality I see is many regional clubs in decline, airport access getting worse by the day, and costs continue to escalate. Many avenues for affordable flying are already gone and unlikely to ever return. Who and where the increasing RAA flight hours are being flown I would like to know. You don't need a breakdown of demographics to figure out age groups if you are involved in the grass roots of "club life" (or whats left of it). I don't believe we are a group of people trying to character assassinate ourselves with words of doom but like many I am at a loss to see how we can invigorate interest in flight when we are competing with so many other less complicated and less expensive forms of entertainment. If you are part  of a thriving and prospering aviation community please share your strategies with this group.  

 

 

 

 

 

I can only comment on my local flying school but it is pretty busy 7 days a week.  Quite often I will chat to new students or people who have turned up hoping to find out how they can start learning and many of them are young. Our school has had quite a few very young people (teens) doing first solos attaining their cert etc. Also embarrassingly for me a couple of young men who after going into my "this is what learning to fly  involves"  I  found that they were both airline pilots with many  hours on 737s etc   Anyway since starting in 1988 I have had a ball, yeah there are administrative hurdles to navigate but if I was unhappy as some I would either man up and get involved on a board level or leave.  I do not own my own aircraft, I did come close to ordering a skyranger but it seemed to me that aircraft owners don't seem to be a happy bunch so I decided to stick to hiring and have never regretted decision.  

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